Extreme Couponing Isn’t All That Extreme

Why You Never Need to Pay Full Price Again!

From clothing to groceries, everyone is always looking for a good deal.  But some people have actually made shopping savvy a lifestyle. During the height of the recession, TLC premiered the reality TV program Extreme Couponing. The 22 minute show captured extremely savvy shoppers using coupons to purchase large amounts of groceries at zero cost. It often took several separate transactions, a lot of mathematical calculations and acts of complete desperation – which sometimes included searching public recycling bins but these men and women were saving hundreds of dollars and audiences during an economic slowdown were hooked. What the show often failed to explicitly reveal to viewers was exactly how the process of Extreme Couponing works.

Extreme couponing explained by the pros

According to Kendal Perez, Savings Expert with CouponSherpa.com the, “Key to extreme couponing is stacking manufacturer’s coupons with store sales. You can also find additional savings on apps like Checkout 51 or Ibotta. Many shoppers use coupon binder to organize paper coupons, while digital deals are likely stored within apps on your mobile device.

According to Mike Catania, Co-Founder and CTO of PromotionCode.org extreme couponing is a “rare combination of patience and preparedness.  Commonly, extreme couponers will pair two distinct types of coupons together to reduce an item’s cost to zero and then buy in huge amounts. The first type of coupon is issued from the manufacturer and will usually be a hard dollar value–$2 off a specific package of baby food.  Armed with a stack of those, the extreme couponer then looks for a store-specific coupon–something like 40% off all baby food on the second Thursday of the month.  Once in line, the 40% coupons are used to reduce the price below $2 and then, once those scanned, the $2 off coupons are applied which reduces the cost to zero.”

What you need to know to make couponing work for you

You can save money without going crazy with extreme couponingIt is important that you know store policies on extreme couponing. Not every store has a policy that will allow for double, triple or more coupons. Couponing doesn’t stop with groceries. There are many apps and websites that will help you save on other items such as clothing and home goods. Apps like Target’s Cartwheel has savings on all of their items. According to Gary Hermann, President of Consolidated Credit, “Many consumers are actually wasting money because they do not take the time to check out loyalty programs and special offers before shopping. You would be surprised at how many hundreds of dollars are wasted each year simply because people are not taking time to cut coupons or download an app.”

Even if you do not have the time to dedicate yourself to extreme couponing, saving money on major purchases should be as easy as a Google search on your smart phone. If you know you are going to be spending a lot look to see if there is a store coupon from the weekly flyer while you are in line waiting to make your purchase. Never pay full price unless you absolutely have to. Also, visit ConsolidatedCredit.org  for more money saving tips and tools to keep you shopping smart and savvy!